RESUME WRITING 101

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Résumé Writing 101
P R E S E N T E D B Y:
BILL MINNICK, DIRECTOR
NW CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER
WHAT IS A RÉSUMÉ?
 The resume is a selling tool…
 Your resume has to sell you in short order…
 The most effective résumés are clearly
focused and address the employer’s stated
requirements for the position…
 You will need INFORMATION to write a
good résumé…
POINTS TO CONSIDER
People don’t read résumés
Use action verbs
Don’t worry about punctuation
Emphasize skills
Résumés should be one page
Expand on relevant experience
Slant your résumé to the type of job you are
applying
Recruiter Pet Peeves about Resumes
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Spelling errors, typos and poor grammar
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Too duty oriented – reads like a job description and
fails to explain what the job seeker’s accomplishments
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Missing or inaccurate dates
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Missing contact Info, inaccurate, or unprofessional
email addresses
Poor formatting – boxes, templates, tables
Long resumes – over 2 pages
Long, dense paragraphs – no bullet-points
Personal info not relevant to the job
Misleading Information- especially in terms of
education, dates and inflated titles
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Recruiter Pet Peeves about Resumes
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Poor font choice or style
Pictures, graphics or URL links
Not easy-to-follow
Resumes written with 1st or 3rd person references
Burying important info in the resume
TYPES OF RÉSUMÉS
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CHRONOLOGICAL RÉSUMÉ
CHRONOLOGICAL RÉSUMÉS
Lists your experiences in reverse chronological order
with most recent first!
Major categories include:
Education
Special Skills
Related or Relevant Experience
Awards/Activities
References
CHRONOLOGICAL RÉSUMÉ
 Most Commonly Used
 Preferred by Employers
 Highlights Positions, Jobs, Leadership Roles
 Employers can “track” your record
Sections of the Résumé
Heading
Body
Extra-Information
Heading
 Name and contact information
 2 addresses are fine
 Do not use labels: “phone” and “email”
 Make it look balanced
 Use a professional email address
Examples of Good Headings
John Doe
101 7th Street SW Box 000
Orange City, IA 51041
[email protected]
(712) 707-7000
YOUR NAME
704 4th Street NW  Orange City, Iowa
712.737.2282
[email protected]
Finda Job
Current Address
123 Main Ave. SW
Orange City, Iowa 51041
(712) 987-6543
Permanent Address
4321 E. Hammond
Tulip Town, Michigan 48864
(517) 456-7890
[email protected]
Georgia Warren
School Address: 101 7th Street Box 000, Orange City, IA 51041
Home Address: 2627 Valley View Drive, Any Town, IA 51111
[email protected]
(712) 555-1001
(712) 366-1212
Examples of some not so good headings
1220 North State #210
Chicago, IL 60610
James R. Student
312-587-0000
[email protected]
STUDENT M. GRAD
E-mail: [email protected]
Current Address (to 5/10/00)
Northwestern College
RSC/NWC Box 1234
208 8th Street SW
Orange City, IA 51041
Phone: (712) 737-7000
Permanent Address
Rt. 10 Box 111
Smalltown, MN 56789
Phone: (320) 321-4321
Super Dooper Student
710 S. Colorado Apt. # 00
Orange City, IA 51041
712-737-0000
Notta Smarta Student
987 S. Main Street
Apartment # 111
Somewhere, IA 51001
(712) 123-4567
[email protected]
Body
 The most significant/relevant information should
be listed on the top half of resume
 Categories: Education, Skills, Related Experience
 Do not use paragraphs
 Use bullet points with action verbs
 Related experience should have: Title, dates of
service, organization, city and state
Examples of Good Body Content
Some not so good examples
Objective
To apply the classroom knowledge in a real world setting.
Experience
2002-2003
Accountant
CPA Office
Orange City, IA
 Complete Corporate Tax returns for a variety of corporations.
 Prepare year end entries and prepare financial statements.
 Experience with Word, Excel, UnilLink, and Lacerte.
1998-2002
Pro Golf Club
Orange City, IA
Cashier//Cart Washer
 Developed valuable people skills by dealing with members and
visitors.
 Helped balance the daily receipts.
Education
2000-2003
Northwestern College
Orange City, IA
 Working toward B.A. degree in Accounting and Business
Administration.
 Cum GPA: 3.5/4.0
 Accounting Major GPA:3.61/4.0
 Bus. Admin. GPA: 3.76/4.0
 Participate on the men’s golf team.
Specialized
Courses
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Interests
spending time with my wife, golfing, walking with my wife and dog,
water skiing, camping and hunting
Intermediate Accounting I, II
Cost Accounting
Auditing
Computer Science I
Business Law
Speech
Business Ethics
Macro and Micro Economics
WRITING AND PUBLISHING EXPERIENCE
Features Editor for the Beacon (weekly college newspaper)
August 2003-May 2004
 Cooperatively responsible for executive decisions made by the editorial staff
 Developed, wrote and assigned weekly features; edited articles; designed and laid out
pages
Beacon News Editor
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January-May 2003
Arranged, wrote and assigned news articles; designed and laid out pages for
publication
Selection staff for the Spectrum, the college literary journal
2004
WORK EXPERIENCE
Research Assistant, Northwestern College, Orange City, IA
April 2004-Present
 Research, study and conduct interviews for Communication Department Chair and
English professor’s project entitled, “Negotiating the Personal in Poetry and Fiction
Writing Courses.”
Peer Tutor, Northwestern College, Orange City, IA
 Junior lecturer and discussion leader for the freshman seminar
August-December 2003
Teacher’s Assistant Northwestern College, Orange City, IA
August 2002-May 2004
 Conducted research and provided office management for college professor
Grant Writing Assistant, Lilly Grant Proposal Planning Committee
April-September 2002
 Brainstormed with faculty, staff and other student members to research and write
initiatives for the Lilly Grant Proposal, which brought in $2 million to Northwestern
College
Student Manager of Catering, Northwestern, Orange City, IA
August 2001-May 2002
 Managed catered events and mealtimes in the cafeteria; trained and supervised student
workers
COMPETENCIES
 Desktop Publishing: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PageMaker and Adobe InDesign
 Microsoft Software: Word, PowerPoint, Access and Excel
 Black-and-White Photography: conversant with darkroom procedures
 Languages: English and Hindi
Extra-Information
Work
History
References-Available upon Request
The purpose of a cover letter
Explain why you are sending a résumé
 Don’t send a résumé without a cover letter (unless
you are explicitly asked to do so.)
 Don’t make the reader guess what you are asking for;
be specific: Do you want a summer internship
opportunity or a permanent position at graduation?
Are you inquiring about future employment
possibilities?
Tell specifically how you learned about the position
or the organization
 Through a flier posted in your department, a specific
directory in the Career Development Center, or their
website
 A family friend who works at the organization
 It is appropriate to mention the name of someone
who suggested that you write.
Convince the reader to look at your résumé
 The cover letter will be seen first. Therefore, it must
be very well written and targeted to that employer
Call attention to elements of your background
 Education
 Leadership
 Experience—that are all relevant to the position you
are seeking. Be as specific as possible, using
examples
The Cover letter Reflects:
 Attitude
 Personality
 Motivation
 Enthusiasm
 Communication skills
Provide or refer to any information specifically
requested in job advertisement
 availability date
 Special skills
Cover letter writing tips
 Personalize the letter
 Be natural
 Be specific and get to the point
 Be positive
 Be confident, but not arrogant
 Be efficient
 Type and sign your letter
 Be available-Indicate how you will follow up
 Proofread -Don’t depend entirely on the spell-check
function of your computer
Generic cover letter example
Avoid I-I-I
Focus less on you (I) and more on the results you can deliver.
If you do nothing else, try replacing the words "I", "me" and "my" with "you" wherever possible. This
will put the emphasis back where it belongs -- on the employer and his/her problems.
Note the number of times "I" and "my“ appear:
 "I am enclosing my resume for your review because I am very interested in obtaining a full-time
position as an Investment Banking Analyst at Ace Financial. I am well qualified for this position. In
addition to the strong quantitative and analytical skills I have developed as an undergraduate
economics major and in my work experience, I have a proven ability to stay focused for long hours
under pressure."
There are five instances of "I" and two of "my.“
Now, here’s that same cover letter, revised to focus more on the reader:
 "I am applying for the position of Investment Banking Analyst where my
combination of economics training and high-tech experience will add value to
your operations. You will gain from my strong financial background, which
includes a recent bachelor’s degree in economics, coupled with experience
researching and trading securities as a successful investor resulting in returns
of 200%.“
Just one "I" and two "mys" -- a 57% reduction. With "you" and "your" thrown in
twice for good measure.
Cover Letter with “I”
Corrected Cover Letter
Now What???
 Develop a first draft of a résumé
MyNWC-Career Development
 Contact the CDC and make an appointment to review
your résumé
 Email your résumé prior to the appointment

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